Eminent historian John Julius, 2nd Viscount Norwich, is the son of the statesman and diplomat Alfred Duff Cooper (1st Viscount) and the Lady Diana Cooper. He spent twelve years in H.M. Foreign Service before becoming a writer.
Lord Norwich credits the island of Sicily with beginning his literary career. His first two books were on the medieval Norman Kingdom of Sicily, which he first fell in love with in 1961, and in his most recent book, Sicily, he details his return to the Mediterranean island after 50 years.
Lord Norwich is best known for his books on Venetian and Byzantine history. He has also written about Shakespeare’s history plays in Shakespeare’s Kings. His memoir, Trying to Please, was published in 2008. He has edited the diaries of his father, The Duff Cooper Diaries, and the letters of his mother to him, Darling Monster.
He has been General Editor of several collections on architecture and art and has enjoyed a long association with radio and television.
He is a regular lecturer on art-historical, architectural and musical subjects in several countries and on Mediterranean cruises. He is a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Geographical Society and the Society of Antiquaries.